Students and faculty share winter driving experiences

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Lexi Basil

Snow and ice can make roads trickier than usual for drivers

Brady Giertsen, Staff Writer

Driving in the snow and ice can be scary and even dangerous for new teen drivers. Whether students are driving after a big snowstorm or slick roads, accidents may result without good driving techniques and extra awareness.

Last winter, senior Kylie Krumenauer had a scary ordeal with winter driving. Krumenauer was driving her father’s vehicle, a lifted GMC pickup truck, on icy roads. When coming up to a three-way intersection on a downhill slope, she found her car skidding when trying to brake. At the intersection, the only options were right or left. Straight ahead were trees and a telephone pole. “I couldn’t slow down… My sister said why aren’t you slowing down. I then screamed at her I can’t! Next thing I knew was sitting at the bottom of the hill covered in glass,” Krumenauer said.

For Krumenauer, the accident led to changing her driving technique. “When in the snow and ice I go a lot slower and make sure to be cautious of my speed,” Krumenauer said. Speed can be the difference between a major wreck or a minor collision. If she was going any faster, the result could have been much worse. In the end, the vehicle was totaled, but luckily Krumenauer and her sister were fine.

Even though he has been in a snow-related accident, Senior Nic Dokman thinks people should speed up when driving in the snow. “People just gotta man up when driving in the snow. It creates so much traffic and takes so much longer when on the roads,” Dokman said.

According to MN.Gov, while most crashes occur in January, most of the crashes that occur are only fender benders. The majority of fatal crashes in 2018 (72%) occur on roads that are dry.

When in the snow and ice I go a lot slower and make sure to be cautious of my speed.”

— Kylie Krumenauer

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New driver and sophomore Adam Marshall thinks that snow driving can be quite tricky. “My car only has two-wheel drive so it slides around a lot when it is icy or snowy, I have had a couple of close calls already when skidding through a stop sign. My brakes just wouldn’t work,” Marshall said.

History teacher Ms. Megan Kern has had good experiences with snow driving and has been pretty successful besides one instance. She was driving up to Brainerd on a two-lane highway when another car overcorrected and ended up skidding sideways into her lane. The result was a t-bone crash going 60 miles per hour. Although there were no serious injuries, it was still a scary experience for Kern. “It was a sound and feeling that I will never forget,” Kern said.

Senior Rose Beeman dislikes snow driving as well. She said that traffic is always so bad when it just doesn’t really need to be. Beeman said that she tends to be late for everything when there is a snowstorm. “It doubles commute time,” Beeman said.

Although snow driving can be annoying, frightening, and even dangerous, it is nonetheless an experience that most Minnesotans have to live with.